Tallying Right-Wing Terror vs. Jihad

WHY NOT COUNT THE BELTWAY SNIPERS AS ISLAMIC TERRORISTS? PHOTOGRAPHER: DAVIS TURNER-POOL/GETTY IMAGES

WHY NOT COUNT THE BELTWAY SNIPERS AS ISLAMIC TERRORISTS? PHOTOGRAPHER: DAVIS TURNER-POOL/GETTY IMAGES

Bloomberg View, by By Megan McArdle, June 30, 2015:

How much should we worry about Islamic terrorism? How much should we worry about other kinds?

There’s no exact right answer to this question. Who is out there in dark places plotting murder most foul? We can only guess, using imperfect information. Of course, there’s “imperfect” and then there’s downright distorted.

The New York Times highlighted one data set recently, in an article headlined “Homegrown Extremists Tied to Deadlier Toll Than Jihadists in U.S. Since 9/11.” “Since Sept. 11, 2001,” the article says, “nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, including the recent mass killing in Charleston, S.C., compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center.” The article goes on to cite a nationwide survey of police and sheriffs departments, noting that “74 percent listed antigovernment violence, while 39 percent listed ‘Al Qaeda-inspired’ violence, according to the researchers.” Well, I guess that settles that, then.

Ah, no. You’ve been reading this column too long to believe that. Statistics are useful, but fragile. How you handle them makes a big difference.

The most obvious thing to note is the choice of start date: Sept. 12, 2001. That neatly excludes an attack that would dwarf all those homegrown terror attacks by several orders of magnitude. Ah, you will say, but that was a one-time event. Sort of. It is no longer possible to destroy the World Trade Center, but we can’t be certain to never again have a large-scale terror attack that kills many people. If you have high-magnitude but low-frequency events, then during most intervals you choose to study, other threats will seem larger — but if you zoom out, the big, rare events will still kill more people. We don’t say that California should stop worrying about earthquake-proofing its buildings, just because in most years bathtub drownings are a much larger threat to its citizens.

The other thing to ask is how we’re defining a terror event and classifying the motivation. I took a little stroll through the underlying data, and on the “jihadist violence” side, the definition is pretty clear: with the exception of one case in which a Muslim who seemed fond of jihadist propaganda beheaded a coworker for reasons that are not entirely clear, the rest of the attacks involved someone with an ideological commitment to radical Islam trying to kill a bunch of people in a way that made it clear that this was about U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

Counting the other types of extremist terrorism is a little murkier. Some of them are fairly obvious: When a white supremacist starts shooting people at a Sikh temple, I don’t think we need to wonder too hard what his motives were. On the other hand, the data set The Times relies on also includes Andrew Joseph Stack, who you may remember piloted a small plane into an IRS building in Austin. Stack left a manifesto behind, and it doesn’t exactly read like an anarcho-capitalist treatise. Oh, he’s mad at the government, all right, but he’s mad about … the 1986 revision to Section 1706 of the tax code, which governs the treatment of technical contractors. Here are some other things Andrew Stack was angry about:

  • The bailouts of GM and Wall Street
  • Drug companies and health insurers (Obamacare was then stalled in Congress)
  • The Catholic Church and the “monsters of organized religion”
  • The Pennsylvania steel bankruptcies that gutted steelworker pensions
  • Now-defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen
  • Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (because of Section 1706)
  • The California base closings of the early 1990s
  • The 1980s S&L crisis
  • Government aid to airlines after 9/11
  • His accountant
  • George W. Bush

Its closing lines are “The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.” Labeling this as a “deadly right-wing attack” is beyond a stretch; it’s not even arguably correct.

Nor is this the only questionable inclusion. Consider Raymond Peake, who was convicted of shooting someone at a firing range, apparently in the course of stealing his gun (it was not the first time Peake had stolen a gun, but it was the first time he’d shot anyone); he appears to be on the list on the basis of a single vague statement from law-enforcement that Peake had been stealing guns for an unidentified organization aimed at overthrowing the United States government. His “co-conspirator,” whose lawyer denied that he had any knowledge of Peake’s alleged crimes, ultimately plead guilty not to conspiracy to overthrow the government, but to receiving stolen property. Maybe there was a shadowy plot to overthrow the U.S. government with the four guns they found in the co-conspirator’s home. On the other hand, maybe a suspect just started rambling when he was arrested for murder.

Then there was Joshua Cartwright of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, who shot two deputies when his wife called the cops to stop him from hitting her. This was elevated to a “deadly right-wing attack” because, according to New America, “Cartwright had a history of non-compliance with the police and Cartwright’s wife told police that he held anti-government views and was ‘severely disturbed’ by President Obama’s election.” All this may be true. But it’s dangerous to profile so that every person with vaguely stated right-wing views, or even not-so-right-wing views, becomes an avatar of that group, rather than an individual who happens to be a member of that group, and also happens to have done something bad.

The case of Robert Poplawski is similarly questionable. He ambushed three officers who responded when his mother called the police on him. He also frequented white supremacist websites and espoused anti-government racist views, according to the database. He alsowrote his grandmother’s name in his own blood on a bedroom wall on the day of the shooting, and told the police negotiator “You know, I’m a good kid, officer. … This is really an unfortunate occurrence, sir.” Which does not exactly sound like a crazed right-wing terrorist determined to take down the government By Any Means Necessary.

Add to the list of “not clear what he was thinking, but probably not domestic terrorism” Curtis Wade Holley, who set fire to his own home and then shot at the first responders. The timeline suggests he was upset because his ex-girlfriend finally had his utilities shut off and he was worried about being evicted or losing his car, something he’d vowed not to endure without a fight. The evidence for him as a “right-wing attacker,” rather than just a paranoid and broke marijuana grower, seems to be that someone, possibly the ex-girlfriend, had called police to say that he had anti-government views and would shoot cops if they came to his place. Would a similar situation with someone known to be an Irish nationalist be an example that The Troubles had crossed the Atlantic to the United States?

I find it very hard to understand why these cases were included, except to pad out the count of “deadly right-wing attacks.” Presumably we are looking for political terror for a political purpose, not every violent crime by a Muslim or a right-winger. This means the acts must include some amount of premeditation, some intent to pursue an ideology, not a flash shootout precipitated by a completely unrelated event, like beating your wife or getting your utilities shut off. Restricting the count to attacks that seem to have had a political purpose, and an ideology that could be convincingly described as “right wing,” drops the tally of right-wing terror to 41 or less.

I’m also somewhat dubious about Albert Gaxiola, Shawna Forde and Joshua Bush, who killed a man and his 9-year-old daughter while robbing their house.  The database says “The three conducted the robbery to help fund their anti-immigrant organization.” But prosecutors told jurors that “it was Gaxiola who suggested Forde and Bush ought to rob and kill Flores. Gaxiola wanted Flores dead because he was a rival drug smuggler.” Forde and Bush were, according to prosecutors, seeking money to fund their Minutemen organization, but once you start to bring black-market assassinations into this, things start looking a little murkier than a case of “deadly right-wing attacks.”

To be generous and round up the numbers for right-wing terror, I could argue for including the Gaxiola trio and Peake. However, once you start throwing in the gray cases on the right-wing side, shouldn’t we be similarly permissive on the Islamic terror side? In prison, one of the Beltway snipers penned rambling anti-American screeds in which the Baltimore Sun said that “the most recurring theme is that of jihad – or holy war – against America.” The Beltway snipers killed 10 people, which all by itself would bring the number of jihadist killings up to 36. Then the story becomes less “right-wing terror is much more dangerous than jihad” and more “Muslim terrorists have killed some people in the United States, and other kinds of ideological murderers have too.”

What’s the takeaway? Never think that because you have a nice, hard-sounding number, that number tells you what you want to know. Numbers don’t just grow in the wild; they are chosen, by parameters that the researchers decide. The parameters these particular researchers chose might not be the criteria you would use; they are certainly not the ones that I would have chosen. And even if you agree that these are absolutely the right and proper numbers, that stilldoesn’t tell us that right-wing terror is more dangerous to us, the living, than to the people during the time period they studied. To know that, you would need to know who remains out there, plotting dark things.

 

What Fireworks Does ISIS Plan for the 4th of July?

0 (5)PJ Media, by  James Jay Carafano On June 29, 2015:

What to make of reports that ISIS may try to pull off a terrorist attack on Independence Day?

Let’s look at the facts.

It is not the first time after 9/11 that U.S. authorities have expressed concerns about possible terrorist attacks timed to coincide with significant dates like the 4th of July.  In 2011, a senior U.S. official told reporters, “We have received credible information very recently about a possible plot directed at the homeland that seems to be focused on New York and Washington, D.C.,” timed for the anniversary of al Qaeda’s big attack on the two cities. Some hold that the assault on the U.S. compound in Benghazi was scheduled to coincide with 9/11.   In fact, warnings of impending terror threats from authorities go back as far as 2002.

Next, we know that ISIS is active—both promoting and inspiring transnational terrorist attacks. Just last week near simultaneous assaults occurred in France, Kuwait and Tunisia.

Further, the US remains a prime target for terrorist activity.  There was another Islamist terrorist related plot uncovered last week—the third in less than a month.

Additionally, we can’t even be sure of where an attack might happen. Terrorists have contemplated hitting everything from high-profile targets in big cities to shopping malls in the suburbs.

None of that necessarily means that something bad will happen between grilling the hot dogs, cheering on the main street parades and watching the fireworks over the capitol.

Coordinating a terrorist attack to happen at a specific time and place, particularly when there will likely be heightened awareness and security, complicates the challenge of pulling off a terror strike–though those obstacles didn’t thwart two relative amateurs who bombed the Boston Marathon (and who had also considered conducting an attack on Independence Day).

Still, if an attack does occur the odds of any particular American being a victim are pretty small.  That’s cold comfort, as the real purpose of terrorist attacks is to terrorize us, killing us is just a consequence.

Best advice is to have a nice day, but take the common-sense precautions that people should always take in public. There are plenty of lists out there of the right steps to take. Read one.

The reality is that even the best security can’t child-proof a free society.  On July 4, of all days, Americans shouldn’t want it any other way. When a free society gives up on freedom the terrorists win.

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Also see:

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I’ve been searching for a good article on situational awareness and there is precious little out there. If my readers can find any please leave links in a comment. Here is an interesting one:

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Personal-security-2-Situational-awareness_0Stratfor.com series:

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Fear Tactics Have Proven Successful For ISIS

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CSP, by Julian Fleischman, June 26, 2015:

Another horrifying video has emerged from ISIS, depicting 15 accused spies being murdered brutally and bizarrely. Some are executed in a car by an RPG fired by an ISIS soldier, while others are decapitated by an explosive necklace. The most unusual and disturbing method of execution shown in the video is a scene in which five prisoners are drowned in a cage. An expensive underwater camera is even used to capture the final agonizing moments of the prisoners’ lives.

While ISIS is certainly upping the ante in both the production and shock value of their publications, these videos are nothing new. In August 2014, ISIS released their first beheading video of American journalist James Foley. They released more footage of beheadings, including that of Israeli-American Steven Sotloff and the murder of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh who was burned alive in a cage in a strikingly sophisticated and sickening production.

With each video more barbaric than the last, ISIS is clearly sending a message to the world. However, there have been numerous interpretations as to what exactly this message is.

Experts such as Ryan Mauro of the Clarion project claim that the videos are used by ISIS militants to warn “enemies” of Islam based on their distorted interpretation of the Koran:

“These executions are chosen to show their compliance with sharia law,” said Mauro, “ISIS is acting upon doctrines that say spies and apostates, those who leave Islam, are to be executed.”

However, this high-budget propaganda machine most likely has an even greater purpose than to portray themselves as “legitimate followers of Islam;” ISIS is employing the age-old political strategy of fear tactics. The SS used it to consolidate control of their citizens in Nazi Germany, as did Mao in China and Stalin in Russia. Currently, North Korea carries out public executions, sometimes in front of victims’ families.

The purpose of such cruelty is to deter the enemy by creating horror and panic so that the enemy, regardless of military capacity, would be paralyzed to fight ISIS by the mere image of falling in the hands of people who practice such barbarism.

This strategy of terror has proven successful as evidence in fleeing Iraqi soldiers and upwards of 500,000 Mosul residents in the Northern Iraq offensive of June 2014.

Since this offensive, ISIS’s thirst for domination has only grown and the people of the Middle East have turned increasingly fearful. In the aftermath of the fall of Ramadi in May, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told CNN that Iraqi forces had no will to fight ISIS in that city. The Iraqi forces were not only provided with superior military training and equipment by the U.S., but they vastly outnumbered the ISIS forces. It is reasonable to assume that fear played an important role as millions of people continue to flee from the areas threatened by ISIS, namely, Iraq and Syria.

Furthermore, such fear has also created the so called “ “astronaut phenomenon”: that is,regular soldiers who bribe commanders to leave danger zones, such as Anbar, Salahaddin and Diyala, where they are expected to see combat against ISIS. This has significantly reduced many military units from 500 men to about 300 men.

This problem is not likely to improve, regardless of foreign aid.

This “visual” strategy is a powerful tool for ISIS, particularly in view of the fact that ISIS aspires to gain influence and power in areas where the state has collapsed and anarchy prevails. Yemen and Libya are two embattled countries where ISIS has aspirations and where such tactics can serve the Islamic State well. It was reported just last week that an ISIS car bomb exploded near a Shiite mosque in Yemen’s capital. Earlier this month, 88 Eritrean Christians were kidnapped by ISIS in Libya. And just today, ISIS carried out at least two more attacks: a car bomb in a Shiite mosque in Kuwait and an attack on a Tunisian beach, killing a total of at least 63, and injuring hundreds more. Many of those killed in Tunisia were western tourists.

The only sign of hope is that of the Kurdish forces, who have proven to be the most effective weapons against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

It is in this sense that the U.S planning has to take this into account in order to generate a strategy that would enable major blows against ISIS. The idea is to strike ISIS up to the point where people will again dare to fight them without fear.

How to do it is for the generals and strategists to decide. However, watching these videos and not granting them strategic and military importance would be a huge mistake. Psychological issues play a huge role, and most totalitarian bodies and regimes I mentioned above have understood that well.

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Also see:

Day of terror: Islamist attacks around world follow ISIS’ Ramadan message

terror_attacksFox News, June 26, 2015:

Terrorists struck around the world Friday, beheading a man in France, gunning down dozens on a beach in Tunisia and launching a suicide attack on a mosque in Kuwait, in a series of attacks that followed an ISIS leaders’ call to make the month of Ramadan a time of “calamity for the infidels.”

There was no confirmation that any of the attacks were ordered by ISIS, although the suspects who attacked a U.S.-owned gas factory in southeastern France left the terrorist army’s flags next to the severed head of their victim. If the attacks were indeed an answer to ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani’s recent call for savagery, it would represent a hideous perversion of Islam’s most holy period, which began June 17 and ends July 17.

Jihadists should make Ramadan a time of “calamity for the infidels … Shi’ites and apostate Muslims,” Al-Adnani said in a recent audio message. “Muslims everywhere, we congratulate you over the arrival of the holy month. Be keen to conquer in this holy month and to become exposed to martyrdom.”

The attack in France occurred first, at 9:50 a.m. local time in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, northwest of the Alpine city of Grenoble. Two suspects dressed as deliverymen crashed a car into an industrial gas plant operated by Allentown, Pa.,-based Air Products & Chemicals, stormed inside and killed at least one person. The head of the victim— a local transportation company businessman–was left on a fence, with Arabic phrases scrawled on it and ISIS flags nearby,Sky News reported, citing French legal sources.

Nearly simultaneously, two gunmen attacked two hotels in a Tunisian coastal town popular with British tourists, killing at least 27. Although there was no immediate word on the victims, the fact that most were on the beach during the holy month indicated that those killed were almost certainly tourists.

A third attack killed at least 16 in a Shia mosque in Kuwait City. ISIS is comprised of Sunni Muslims, and its members have a long and bloody history with Shia Muslims, as evidenced by Al-Adnani’s call. The attack came immediately following Friday prayers. There was no claim of responsibility, but ISIS has claimed responsibility for bombings at two different Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks.

French officials wasted no time labeling Friday’s attack an act of terrorism.

“The attack was of a terrorist nature since a body was discovered, decapitated and with inscriptions,” French President Francois Hollande told a news conference in Brussels, where he cut short his attendance at an EU summit to return to France.

At least one man, who authorities said was a 30-year-old extremist known to authorities, was under arrest following the France attack. There were unconfirmed reports of others arrested or killed, but a manhunt is underway for any other suspects involved in the attack.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, speaking from the scene, described the attack as “barbarous” and a “terrible terrorist crime.” He said the suspect had been known to foreign intelligence services since 2006, but that police monitoring of him had ceased in 2008. The man did not have a criminal record, the minister added.

French authorities told Fox News that approximately 10 people were injured.

The factory is operated by Air Products & Chemicals, an Allentown, Pa.,-based company that makes industrial gases.

“Our priority at this stage is to take care of our employees, who have been evacuated from the site and all accounted for,” the company said in a statement. “Our crisis and emergency response teams have been activated and are working closely with all relevant authorities.”

A local official confirmed the nation is on high alert.

“The terrorism threat is at a maximum,” Alain Juppe, mayor of Bordeaux, told Fox News.

The attack came months after well-known ISIS social media accounts and propaganda video threatened attacks in the U.S., Belgium and France.

“We advise you that we will come to you with car bombs and explosive charges and we will cut off your heads,” stated one such threat that mirrored Friday morning’s attack.

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident. The country went on high alert after a series of attacks in January that left 20 people dead in and around Paris region, including the Islamic terrorists.

France has been grappling with radical Islam for several years, with the Jan. 7 attack at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo putting the nation’s homegrown terrorism problem in the spotlight earlier this year.

In that attack, two radical Muslim brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, heavily armed and incensed over the publishing of caricatures of Muhammad, stormed the magazine’s offices and killed 12, including staffers and a police officer. Authorities hunted down the Kouachi brothers for three days, until finally cornering them in a printing house near Paris’ Charles de Gaulle international airport, and killing them in a shootout.

As police searched for the brothers’, a friend and fellow home grown Islamic terrorist Amedy Coulibaly, took at least 15 people hostage at a kosher supermarket in Paris. After a long standoff– with Coulibaly threatening to kill all his hostages unless the Kouachis be allowed to go free– police stormed the market, killing him. Four hostages were also killed in the incident.

Fox News Channel’s Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Also see:

Seven Dead In Tunisian Tourist Hotel Gun Attack

Update: Death toll now at 27

This picture shows the body of a western holidaymaker lying dead on the beach in Sousse - empty sun loungers can be seen behind him after people fled the area  Daily Mail

This picture shows the body of a western holidaymaker lying dead on the beach in Sousse – empty sun loungers can be seen behind him after people fled the area
Daily Mail

Sky News, June 26, 2015:

Gunmen have attacked tourist hotels in the Tunisian town of Sousse – which is popular with British holidaymakers – killing seven.

The country’s interior ministry said two hotels were targeted.

Tourist John Yeoman has barricaded himself inside his room

Tourist John Yeoman has barricaded himself inside his room

Photographs have been seen by Sky News showing a man in his 60s or 70s lying in a pool of blood in his swimming shorts.

Tour operator Thomson is one of the UK-based travel firms which offers holidays at hotels in the town, but it is unclear which hotel has been targeted.

British tourist David Schofield told Sky News that he was by the pool when he heard “quite a large explosion” and guests started to run back towards the hotel.

“We heard people saying there were guns on the beach.  People were shooting on the beach,” he said.

“People are running around the hotel. No-one has really been told what to do.”

Another, John Yeoman, has barricaded himself inside his hotel room using a bed and chair.

At least one gunman has been killed, according to security sources cited by the Reuters news agency.

Casualties have been reported.

Another holidaymaker, Susan Ricketts, said: “It sounded like a machine gun going off.

“There are people crying and going hysterical. We just came up to our room.

“They’re saying it’s going on in the hotel next to us. It’s just a stretch of hotels along here. There’s nothing else.”

Meanwhile deadly explosions have hit a Shiite mosque in Kuwait’s capital after Friday prayers.

Also see:

Man decapitated as severed head is ‘covered in Arabic writing’ and hung on a fence next to Islamist flag at factory in France after terrorists storm building and set off ‘gas bomb’ explosions

Murder scene: The murdered man's head is understood to have been found 30 feet away from his body, hanging on the factory's fence. The dead man's head was covered in Arabic 'inscriptions' before being placed on the fence, according to local journalists at the scene

Murder scene: The murdered man’s head is understood to have been found 30 feet away from his body, hanging on the factory’s fence. The dead man’s head was covered in Arabic ‘inscriptions’ before being placed on the fence, according to local journalists at the scene

  • Shocking attack took place at the headquarters of American-owned Air Products close to Lyon in southern France
  • Two men burst through the factory gates in a car, setting off small ‘gas bombs’ and injuring factory workers
  • Murder victim’s severed head was said to have been covered in Arabic writing and left hanging on a fence
  • It is not yet clear whether the terrorists killed the man elsewhere and transported his body to the factory
  • 30-year-old man ‘known to security services’ was arrested at the scene, telling officers he was a member of ISIS 

Daily Mail, By John Hall and Fidelma Cook and Simon Tomlinson and Peter Allen

A man has been decapitated and dozens more injured at a gas product factory in France by terrorists carrying Islamist banners.

The attack took place at the headquarters of the American owned Air Products, in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near the city of Lyon, in the south east of the country.

The murder is believed to have been accompanied by several explosions on the site cause by a terrorist igniting small ‘gas bombs’ that injured dozens of factory workers. It is believed the explosions may have intended to blow up the entire factory site but failed.

The murdered man’s head is understood to have been found 30 feet away from his body, hanging on the factory’s fence. The dead man’s head was covered in Arabic ‘inscriptions’ before being placed on the fence, according to local journalists at the scene.

A 30-year-old man who was known to security services since at least 2008 has already been arrested at the scene, telling police officers that he is a member of the Islamic State terror group. The man is believed not to have a criminal record but was considered to have ‘possibly been radicalised’.

There remains a great deal of confusion over whether a second terrorist was involved and has now gone on the run, or whether a ‘lone wolf’ jihadi had actually killed the victim elsewhere and transported his body to site, confusing eyewitnesses.

Chaos: The attack took place at the headquarters of Air Products, in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, in the south east of the country.  Local media reported that a 30-year-old man 'known to security services' has already been arrested at the scene

Chaos: The attack took place at the headquarters of Air Products, in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, in the south east of the country. Local media reported that a 30-year-old man ‘known to security services’ has already been arrested at the scene

Witnesses at the scene claimed there more than one man was involved in the attack and that the perpetrators were carrying Islamist flags.

Two men were seen driving into the main gate soon after 10am, before driving around in circles throwing gas cylinders around the main yard. One of the men then jumped out of the car, according to local prosecuting sources, and then ‘decapitated a man’.

The attack was accompanied by several explosions caused by 'gas bombs' being ignited at the site, causing many of the injuries

The attack was accompanied by several explosions caused by ‘gas bombs’ being ignited at the site, causing many of the injuries

Before the attack a man was seen driving back and forth outside the factory, according to Dauphiné Libéré.

An Islamic flag – possibly that of Islamic State – was found next to the dead body. The man’s head was found some 30 feet from the corpse.

French journalist Stefan Vries told Sky News: ‘There was an explosion at a gas factory. Several people were wounded and there has been one person decapitated on the premises.

‘His head was found a couple of yards from his body. A man has been arrested. He was allegedly carrying a flag of the Islamic State. Police fear there may be more attacks.’

Within an hour of the attack, French President Francois Hollande was to return home early from an EU summit.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels shortly afterwards, Hollande said a man who launched a ‘terrorist’ assault on a gas factory Friday has been identified and that there may have been a second attacker.

Lockdown: Local media reported that a 30-year-old man 'known to security services' has already been arrested at the scene, telling police officers that he is a member of the Islamic State terror group

Lockdown: Local media reported that a 30-year-old man ‘known to security services’ has already been arrested at the scene, telling police officers that he is a member of the Islamic State terror group

‘This attack was in a vehicle driven by one person, perhaps accompanied by another,’ Hollande added. ‘The individual suspected of committing this attack has been arrested and identified.’

There remains a great deal of confusion over the exact sequence of events at the factory.

Some witnesses have claimed that the dead man may have been decapitated by one of the ‘gas bomb’ explosions, with the perpetrators taking advance of the shocking nature of his death to chilling effect – writing Islamist slogans on his severed head before hanging it on the fence.

Others have claimed that a single terrorist carried out the entire attack, driving an already dead and decapitated man to the factory site, which may have led some witnesses to believe there may have been more than one attacker.

Investigators are working to establish the full details of the attack but is widely thought that the explosions were intended to have a far bigger impact than causing several dozen injuries, and may have been intended to blow up the entire Air Products headquarters.

The president of Air Products – an American owned company that is understood to have recently signed a large contract with Saudi Arabia – is an Iranian Shia Muslim named Seifi Ghasemi.

Iran is known to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria – the sworn enemy of the Islamic State terror group.

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Do the PMs new anti-terrorism measures go far enough?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks at a news conference in Toronto on Thursday, June 4, 2015. (Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks at a news conference in Toronto on Thursday, June 4, 2015.
(Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Rebel, by MARISSA SEMKIW, June 5, 2015:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced new measures aimed at safeguarding Canada by thwarting Islamic terrorism here at home.

The Prime Minister has been tough on terrorism, but I’d argue his measures should go one step further.

Millions of dollars of foreign extremist money flows into Canada to fuel extremism and social segregation here at home, and the Canada Revenue Agency has no way of tracking it.

This isn’t money that is funding terrorism directly, but rather funds that foster an environment susceptible to terrorism.

I accept that there are no easy answers here, but this is an issue that all Canadian society must accept is happening, and confront.

Also see:

Why is Boston the Hub of Violent Islamic Extremism?

12 terroristsNER, by Jerry Gordon, June 4, 2015:

When we posted on ISIS-Inspired terrorism in Boston and vicinity, we wrote:

Two news stories have suddenly brought attention to ISIS-inspired terrorism in Boston and vicinity.One involved ISIS –inspired suspects plotting to behead police officers resulting in one killed in a shooting incident and two others arrested by Boston area police. The second involves the death of an American citizen in an air attack in Iraq’s Anbar province who was technically educated and radicalized at Mosques in the Boston area.   He fled the US to ultimately become one of the top leaders in ISIS running their highly effective social media propaganda arm.

The second story demonstrated why, in the opinion of colleague Ilya Feoktistov of Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), the Boston area has nurtured dangerous Jihadis fomenting violent “Islamic” extremism.  We included in our post a YouTube  video  with APT Research Director Feoktistov interviewed on these emerging story on New England Cable News (NECN) with particular attention to the late  ISIS top social media expert, Ahmad Abousamra, a dual Syrian American citizen and educated computer science professional who fled to join the Islamic State.  Feoktistov connected the dots between Ahmad’s father, Dr. Abdulbadi Abousamra, an endocrinologist, who established a network of Muslim Brotherhood controlled mosques radiating from theIslamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, including the Islamic Center of New England in suburban Sharon, Massachusetts.  We noted the father recruiting Mohammed Hafiz Masood, a Pakistani Imam with radical extremist vie to become the Imam at ICNE. Masood had family connections to the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba  that perpetrated the 2008 Mumbai Massacre. The Imam may have been responsible for radicalization of Islamic State top social media expert, the late Ahmad Abousamra.  Masood, who graduated from Boston University with a degree in Economics, was subsequently deported to Pakistan for immigration visa violations.

Watch the NECN interview with APT Research Director Feoktistov:

During the NECN interview, a poster of a dozen Muslim Brotherhood (MB) extremists connected with both the ISBCC, its affiliated Cambridge Mosque was flashed on screen to make a point of “connecting the dots”.  The APT graphic displays those members and trustees of the ISBCC and ICNE who were trustees or Members of the MB and ISIS, convicted or killed or still at large.  The Cambridge Mosque, affiliated with ISBCC, was attended by convicted terrorism felons including Pakistani Al Qaeda bio warfare expert, Aafia Siddiqui, Tarek Mehanna and the Chechen refugee Tsarneav Brothers who perpetrated the Boston Marathon Bombing.

Our colleague, Jonna Bianco of the Tennessee Task Force on National and Homeland Security (TTFNHS) sent our post on the Boston web of violent Islamic extremism via email to every member of the Tennessee Assembly with this   statement:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The incident yesterday is its own Security Brief.  If measures are not currently being taken to deal with these kinds of “connect the dots” dangers, we will be experiencing the same sorts of incidents right here in our state.  These same organizations exist in Tennessee connected to some of these same people. You should read this article and note how the people who lead and protect bad actors are not poor people just needing a job.  The father of the ISIS leader killed recently overseas is an Endocrinologist.  The ISIS leader himself had a degree in Computer Science.  These folks do not need jobs.  They need deportation papers, if not prison for material support of terrorism in the United States.  We have some of the same people right here in our state.

If you think this is much ado about nothing, then please contact the Task Force for a personal Security Briefing.  We’ll show you a lot of ‘nothing.’

Ms. Bianco and colleagues at the TTFHNS found the evidence of violent extremist jihadism spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood mosque network in Boston, with evidence of connections to the Islamic State, compelling enough to notify all state legislators in Tennessee.  Other likeminded groups should consider sending this post to every legislator in their respective home states.  FBI Director James Comey should task every Joint Terrorism Task Force across the country to investigate extremist Mosques and Imams.  Especially Muslim Brotherhood controlled Mosques indoctrinating American Muslim youths to join up and fight with the Islamic State, only to return and wreak havoc in our midst.

Iran Implicated in Foiled Hezbollah Attacks on Europe

Iranian Basij volunteer militia members (Photo: © Reuters)

Iranian Basij volunteer militia members (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, June 2, 2015:

The arrest of a Hezbollah terrorist in Cyprus is believed to have foiled attacks in Europe, probably against Israeli or Jewish targets. The plots show that Iran is as committed to international terrorism as ever and is not the least bit dissuaded by the prospect of a lucrative nuclear deal.

The terrorist came to Cyprus last month and had nearly two tons of ammonium nitrate—a substance commonly used for making bombs—in his basement. That’s about the amount that was used to carry out the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 that took down a federal building and killed 168 people.

It is suspected that he was planning on attacking Israelis, and there is evidence linking the operative to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. It is also believed that the operative belonged to a network planning on using Cyprus as a “port of export” for additional terrorist plots in Europe.

The National Council of Resistance in Iran, an opposition group, says that a Cyprus newspaper reported that he was trained in Iran by the Revolutionary Guards Corps.

In 2012, a Hezbollah terrorist was arrested and later found guilty of planning attacks on Israeli tourists in Cyprus. His possession of a Swedish passport enabled him to conduct surveillance on targets in Europe. It was discovered that he was tracking flights from Israel to Cyprus, researching bus routes used by Israeli tourists and assessing a hospital parking lot. He also traveled to France and the Netherlands for Hezbollah.

The foiled plot helps make an important point about the nature of the Iranian regime. If there was any time for the regime to resist its impulses to engage in international terrorism, it is now.

An Iranian-sponsored plot could unravel the nuclear deal that could strengthen its “Islamic Revolution,” bolster the regime and allow it to dramatically increase its sponsorship of terrorism. And yet, even under these conditions, the Iranian regime can’t help but orchestrate terror plots in Europe with the objective of killing hundreds of innocents.

If this is the behavior of the Iranian regime when it has every incentive to temporarily play nice, then what will it do when it breaks free of sanctions and uses trade deals to disarm the U.S. of its economic leverage?

***

Also see:

Schrödinger’s Jihad

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Sultan Knish, by Daniel Greenfield, May 13, 2015:

The great paradox of the War on Terror is that we are fighting an enemy that doesn’t exist. We are told incessantly that there is no such thing as a Muslim terrorist.

There may be a tiny minority of violent extremists, but they are only a tiny minority of no importance whatsoever. And yet we’ve been at war with this same infinitesimally tiny minority for decades.

This tiny minority has killed thousands of Americans. It has the support of entire governments in tiny countries like Pakistan (182 million), Iran (77 million) and Syria (22 million). We are told that this tiny minority is no way representative of the world’s billion Muslims, and yet it’s hard to find a Muslim country that doesn’t support or harbor a terrorist group.

We were told that the problems was their governments, but the Arab Spring showed us that democratic elections lead to governments that are even more supportive of tiny minority of extremists who are somehow taking over entire countries.

Everything we’ve been told is obviously a lie. And the best evidence comes from the liars themselves.

The media is howling that a bunch of cartoonists in Texas were irresponsible for sketching Islam’s dead warlord because they should have known that Muslim terrorists would come to kill them for it. But if the media is right and Islam is a religion of peace, then why should they have anticipated a terrorist attack?

And if Islam isn’t a religion of peace, then the media has been irresponsibly lying to us and the cartoonists have been risking their lives to warn us of that lie.

The talking heads on the television insist that the cartoon contest was irresponsible because there were bound to be “some crazies” who would “take the bait”. But if Islam is no more violent than any other religion, shouldn’t it be just as statistically likely that some Christian or Jewish crazies would attack one of the art exhibits, plays or musicals ridiculing and blaspheming against their religions?

Weren’t museums and galleries exhibiting “works of art” like Piss Christ or Shekhina provoking and baiting those Jewish and Christian crazies? And since there are more Christians than Muslims in America, isn’t it statistically far more likely that there should have been far more Christian terror attacks targeting blasphemous exhibits?

We can only conclude that there is a much higher proportion of “crazies” among Muslims than among Christians. How much higher? 78 percent of Americans identify as Christians. 0.6 percent claim to be Muslims. Only 0.3 percent appear to be Sunnis, who are responsible for ISIS and Al Qaeda attacks.

There is indeed a tiny minority of extremists in America. It’s known as Islam.

What keeps the lie alive is another paradox. Call it Schrödinger’s Jihad. The more famous Schrödinger’s Cat is a paradox in which a cat in a sealed box with poison that has a 50 percent chance of being released is in an indeterminate state. It is neither dead nor alive until someone opens the box.

In Schrödinger’s Jihad, the Muslim terrorist is in an indeterminate state until some Western observer opens the box, collapses his wave function and radicalizes him. The two Muslim Jihadists were in an indeterminate state until Pamela Geller and Bosch Fawstin and the other “provocateurs” suddenly turned them into terrorists in a matter of days or weeks. It didn’t matter that Elton Simpson, one of the Garland terrorists, had already been dragged into court for trying to link up with Jihadists in Africa.

Every Muslim is and isn’t a terrorist. He is both a peaceful spiritual person who is eager to embrace our way of life and a violent killer who can be set off by the slightest offense. Like the cat in the box that is neither dead nor alive, he is both violent and peaceful, moderate and extremist, a solid citizen and a terrorist. He does not choose which of these to be or to become; we decide what he will be.

The Jihadist paradox is that the Muslim terrorist is always defined by what we do, not by what he does.

magnumphotographers5Islamic terrorism does not exist independently of the Western observer. It is not a Jihad with deep historical and theological roots within Islam, but a reaction to our interactions with Muslims.

Obama insists that talking about Islamic terrorism ‘summons’ them into being. By admitting the existence of Islamic terrorists, we ‘radicalize’ Muslims. Even the words ‘Islamic terrorism’ creates Islamic terrorists who otherwise wouldn’t exist.

The real threat is not from the terrorists, it’s from the truth.

When we tell the truth, people die. The truth turns Muslims into terrorists while the lies soothe them back into non-existence. Underneath all the academic terminology is the dream logic of wishful thinking. If we believe that Islam is a religion of peace, it will be a peaceful religion, and if we accept the reality that it’s violent, then it will become violent. Islam does not define itself. We define it however we want. Our entire counterterrorism policy is based around the perverse ostrich belief that Islamic terrorism is a problem that we create by recognizing its existence. If we ignore it, it will go away.

The lies about Islam are sustained by a deep conviction among liberals that the “Other” minorities are not real people with real beliefs and cultures, but victims in a game of power played out in the West. Islamic terrorism, like gay marriage or Global Warming, is just another step in the progressive pilgrim’s progress. It’s a problem that we caused and need to atone for in our cosmic karmic journey.

Westerners are privileged observers who have power while those minorities they observe do not. The duel between the Western left and right is taking place outside the box to determine what will be in the box once it’s forced open, while the oppressed minorities are in a state of indeterminacy in the box.

The Schrödinger’s Jihad paradox has many other adjoining boxes. Some are filled with dictators and criminals. If the progressive observer can open the box and find the root cause, out comes a good person; if the right opens the box, then out will march the terrorists, drug dealers and warlords.

The other side of the rhetoric about oppression and colonization, of punching up and punching down is the conviction that those at the bottom do not have free will or agency. If the mugger chooses to mug, rather than being driven to it by poverty, if Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union gleefully chose conquest instead of being forced to it by Western imperialism, and if the Muslim terrorist is not a helpless victim, but an abuser, then the moral imperative of the left’s worldview collapses in a heap.

If Muslims are real people who are at least as capable of imperialism, racism, slavery and destroying the planet as any Westerner, and who have been doing all of these things a lot longer, then leftists would have to accept that they are tearing down the most progressive civilization on the planet on behalf of ridiculously reactionary civilizations. Not only would they no longer be the privileged observers in control of the future, but they would have to see themselves as destroyers of what is left of the future.

The left refuses to blame Islam or Muslims because that would mean admitting that they are people.

Schrödinger’s Jihad is a child’s toy box for overgrown children who view Muslims as social justice dolls and terrorist action figures instead of people as flawed and complicated as they are. The left refuses to take Islamic theology seriously because it is incapable of understanding different points of view.

It approaches Islam as a race, rather than a religion, because it refuses to delve into what its beliefs are. Instead it chooses to see Muslims as blank slates to be filled with its ideology, as indeterminate patterns that can be reshaped into whatever they want them to be. It does not want to know what it says in the Koran, because that ruins its wonderful fantasy of Muslims as an oppressed race, rather than a creed.

dest18Lies that are based on what we want to be true are the hardest to disprove. A lie that is tied into identity cannot be touched without destroying the entire identity of an individual or a movement.

The lies about Islam run into the heart of what the left is. To the left, everything is indeterminate and everything can be reshaped. Existence flows from power and power is pitted against progress. By destroying that which exists, they can bring their dreams to life. The dream is stronger than reality.

The left doesn’t really believe that Muslim terrorists exist except when we bring them to life. The real animating force behind Al Qaeda was George W. Bush or Dick Cheney. The true power behind ISIS is Pamela Geller or the Pentagon. The Westerner opens the box and the Muslim terrorist comes out. When Western civilization as we know it is destroyed, then the left believes Muslim terrorism will end. Kill the observer and the cat never existed. Destroy the dreamer and the nightmare dies with him.

The truth is more dangerous than the terrorists. Terrorists can kill the body, but truth can kill the dream.

Rising Concerns over Muslim Refugee Resettlement in US: 1330amWEBY Interview with Ann Corcoran

Refugee_Hijra_WidgetNER, by Jerry Gordon, May 11, 2015:

Ann Corcoran’s brief video on Muslim Refugee Resettlement in the US has gone viral since being put up on YouTube on April 20, 2015 by the Center for Security Policy.  It has had over 200,735 hits to date climbing every day.  Clearly, Corcoran’s message has resonated among concerned Americans.   Watch it on YouTube:

The CSP YouTube video is a complement to her recently published book on the problems confronting America over the threat of mass Muslim migration that has transformed Europe and now troubles grass roots America,Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America” .

Corcoran and her team chronicle news and developments about this issue on the blog where she is editor,Refugee Resettlement Watch.     You may have read our interview with Erick Stakelbeck, ISIS Threat to America  in the current edition of the NER where he drew attention to the Somali refugee communities in the American heartland sending jihadi terrorists in Somali and Syria.  He spoke of young Somali émigré men who have joined up with, first Al Shabaab in Somalia, and now increasingly, join the Islamic State to fight for the self-declared Caliphate in Syria and Iraq.   We have drawn attention to the problems of Somali refugee resettlement in NER articles and Iconoclast posts over the past eight years.  They have  covered  severe cultural and integration problems in the American heartland  in places like Shelbyville, Tennessee, Emporia, Kansas, Greeley , ColoradoMinneapolis, Minnesota,  Columbus, Ohio, and Lewiston, Maine.

The Somali émigré jihadis aren’t the only terrorists among admitted refugees. Think of the brothers Tsarneav who perpetrated the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013. See our NER article, “Refugee Jihad Terror in Boston.”   An ABC investigation reported  that dozens of terrorists have been admitted fraudulently under the US Refugee Admission Program.

One example was two Iraqi refugees, al Qaeda operatives,   arrested in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2011 convicted in 2013. They were charged with sending weapons and cash to Al Qaeda.  They lied on their Federal Refugee Admission forms about their prior terrorist involvements in Iraq. One had constructed IEDs, involved in killing four members of a Pennsylvania National guard unit in 2006 in Iraq.  A check of fingerprints on the shards of the IED caught the perpetrator.  Watch this 2013 ABC Report.   Recently, one of those convicted, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi , filed a motion seeking to overturn his conviction because his counsel said he wouldn’t get life.  That episode briefly raised the criticism of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

In excess of 250,000 Somali and Iraqis have been admitted to the US as refugees.  An estimated one million have immigrated to the US from Muslim lands. Through births and admittance of relatives under the problematic P-3 Family Reunification Visa program the impact could mean millions of additional Muslim émigrés in the US.  Virtually all of the Somali and Iraqi refugees were Muslim.  Endangered Christians and other minority religion accounted for less than 8 percent of Syrian Refugees admitted under the State Department administered   US Refugee Admissions Program .   Eleven Christian, Jewish and special interest NGOs or voluntary agencies (VOLAGS) are paid by the billion dollar State Department refugee program to process and place refugees in American communities.  VOLAGS like Catholic Charities, Lutheran World Services, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and the International Rescue Committee.  The total annual federal and state program costs of refugee resettlement are estimated to range in excess of $12 to $20 billion annually.

The UNHigh Commissioner for Refugees  establishes priorities for US Admissions under the Refugee Act of 1980. An Act co-sponsored by the late Edward Kennedy and then Senator, now Vice President in the Obama Administration, Joe Biden. The US may be poised to accept another wave of over 75,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years.   Doubtless they and growing number of  Muslim refugees from  elsewhere in the Middle East,  Africa and South Asia  will be “seeded”  in American cities  under the Fostering  Community Engagement  and Welcoming  Communities Project  of  the Office of Refugee  Resettlement with the Soros-backed  NGO , “Welcoming America “.

But now there is pushback by American cities, as witnessed by concerns expressed in letters to Secretary of State Kerry by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the House Judiciary Sub Committee on Immigration and Border Security.  Both The House Subcommittee and the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, chaired by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) hold annual hearings over refugee allotments.  Gowdy’s   letter of April 13, 2015 was prompted by constituent complaints in Spartanburg, South Carolina of the establishment of a VOLAG office to processing Muslim refugees.  He wrote Secretary Kerry seeking answers as to why the office was being established and had not been reviewed with state and local agencies.  He ended his letter:

I request that any plans to resettle refugees in the Spartanburg, South Carolina, area be placed on hold until my constituents and I receive your substantive responses to the questions and information requested in this letter. Additionally, before moving forward, both the Spartanburg community and I should have time to substantively review the information and be comfortable with the information provided.

As previously stated, I am troubled by the lack of notice and coordination with my office and the Spartanburg community, particularly local officials, regarding the plans to resettle refugees in the area. In that vein, I request at least one month’s notice prior to the arrival of the first refugee[s] in the Spartanburg area.

To find out more about what could become an important issue for evaluation of 2016 Presidential candidates, be sure to listen to an interview with Ann Corcoran of RRW by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates on 1330amWEBY “Your Turn.” The program will air at 5:30PM CDT (6:30PM EDT), Tuesday, May 12th.  You may Listen Live here. The recorded program will be archived and posted following the broadcast.  A transcript of the interview may appear in the June edition of the NER.

Also see:

ISIS Plots to Bring the “Flames of War” the US, UK and Australia

S-Flames-of-War-Propaganda-Video-02May 9, 2015 / ISIS Study Group /

Well, we’ve come full-circle. On 08 MAR 15 we came out with an article on the Islamic State (IS) establishing a foreign fighter unit known as the “Anwar al-Awlaqi Battalion” that consists of English-speakers (“The Increasing Role of Aussie Jihadists in ISIS Efforts to Expand into Southeast Asia and Strike the West”). We also discussed how that unit was tasked with getting the personnel within the ranks enough experience to be sent back to their countries of origin within the next 4-5 months. The specific countries our sources said that would be most at risk were the US, UK and Australia. The Successful attack in Kabul, Afghanistan and failed ANZAC Day plot in Melbourne, Australia (check out “Dropping the Hammer: Aussie Police Thwart ANZAC Day Attack Plot” for more details) were merely the opening shots for bringing the “Flames of War” to the west. Recently, a cell attacked a Muhammad Cartoon contest being hosted by Pam Gellar in Garland, Texas. IS claimed responsibility for the attack. We assess that none of this is a “coincidence,” and that these attack plots are part of a much larger campaign to take the fight to the west. Furthermore, we suspect that IS-linked cells will attempt to execute attacks in the US within the next 3-4 days with additional attacks being launched in the UK and Australia – yes, we’ve been saying that for a few months now that we would be seeing this around this time of year. More importantly, we’re seeing American and Aussie foreign fighters synching up their OPs for a coordinated effort – the largest projection of IS terror on the international stage.

The Increasing Role of Aussie Jihadists in ISIS Efforts to Expand into Southeast Asia and Strike the West
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5388

Dropping the Hammer: Aussie Police Thwart ANZAC Day Attack Plot
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=6339

FBI Alerted Garland Police About Elton Simpson Hours Before Shooting
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fbi-says-it-alerted-garland-police-about-elton-simpson-n355526

Junaid Hussein Source: Central News

Junaid Hussein
Source: Central News

The US Department of Defense has announced that military installations are on “alert” for potential attacks while the professionally-bankrupt US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claims that there isn’t a “specific threat” made to any particular installation. DHS’ statement isn’t completely accurate according to our sources. The individual coordinating the US OPs is Syria-based UK national Junaid Hussein, and he’s reported to have been researching US military installations in Colorado and Ohio, so despite what DHS is saying IS appears to be focusing on a base in one of those two states. Hussein first appeared on the US government’s radar when it was revealed that he was responsible for establishing IS’ cyber-warfare capability. Although most people know him as the leader of the “Cyber Caliphate,” he’s also a prominent recruiter who assisted Australian foreign fighter Neil Prakash aka “Abu Khalid al-Cambodi” in the establishment of the Anwar al-Awlaqi Battalion. Hussein has previously run afoul of the British government and previously jailed in 2012.

ISIS activity prompts threat level increase at bases
http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/08/politics/isis-activity-prompts-threat-level-increase-at-bases/

Junaid Hussain: CyberCaliphate Leader And ISIS Member Was Behind CENTCOM Hack, Report Says
http://www.ibtimes.com/junaid-hussain-cybercaliphate-leader-isis-member-was-behind-centcom-hack-report-says-1782870

Hacker who stole Tony Blair’s details and bombarded anti-terror hotline with prank calls is jailed and claims his crime was no worse than those committed by Bullingdon members

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2179969/Hacker-stole-Tony-Blair-s-details-bombarded-anti-terror-hotline-prank-calls-jailed-claims-crime-worse-committed-Bullingdon-members.html

cambodi

Cambodia
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Additionally, Hussein has been passing down guidance to cells operating in western countries on target selection and giving them advice on proper OPSEC procedures. Much of this is being done on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. We find it rather amusing that DHS and the American mainstream media is just now starting to notice how heavily saturated our nation is with IS propaganda. We wrote about this in our article titled, “al-Hayat Media Center Continues to Saturate North America With its Social Media Outreach to Jihadists” that was posted on 25 OCT 15. These cells are domestic in nature in that none of the personnel have traveled to Syria. However, these cells and lone wolves are only the first phase of this campaign as the Syria returnees are expected to start returning to their home countries by the end of the month. In fact, we’ve been hearing that some may have already started to trickle in. This presents a big problem in that these personnel returned with the knowledge and connections to set up their own networks and attack cells – and they will be traveling with western passports that won’t draw as much attention as someone with a Saudi or Pakistani passport.

al-Hayat Media Center Continues to Saturate North America With its Social Media Outreach to Jihadists
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2523

The current attack plans appear to be a combination of IED attacks and shootings like what we saw in Garland or even the scenario we discussed last summer in “ISIS: Target America.” We suspect that they may opt to go with the pressure cooker IED design like the one used in the Boston Bombing. IS also took note of the response to he attack by local law enforcement and armed civilians and aren’t likely to make the same mistake. Instead, they appear to be looking at hitting soft targets in American cities in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles in addition to targeting military installations in Colorado and Ohio. Regarding the targeting of military installations on American soil, we assess that individual service members will also be targeted. Hussein and associate Riyad Khan were the guys who released the addresses, identities and photographs of 100 US military personnel in late-MAR that we covered in “Islamic State Urging Attacks on US Military at Home Publishes Personal Information.” This is yet another example of the coordination that’s taking place between Cambodia and Hussein. If you recall, the ANZAC Day plot called for the targeting of an individual police officer in the same manner as the murder of British Soldier Lee Rigby. That is not a coincidence. Hussein and Cambodia are working together.

Australian listed in Isis guidebook as go-to man for recruits
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/07/australian-listed-in-isis-guidebook-as-go-to-man-for-recruits

ISIS: Target America
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=1196

Target America: Hunting the US Military
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2061

Islamic State Urging Attacks on US Military at Home Publishes Personal Information
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5729

hack

Some of the identities exposed by Hussein and Khan
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Another example of the Hussein-Cambodi campaign can be seen through a militant we’ve identified as Shawn Parson, a Trinidian IS member who has maintained regular contact with Cambodi over the past few months. He’s been making several posts about “plotting revenge” for the arrest of IS sympathizer Keonna Thomas and has shown a preference for targeting US government officials. The threats were made through his Twitter account (@Amriki_Irhabi) but it was taken down. The threats he’s been making appear to be connected to the ongoing threat stream as he had made specific references to US Air Force installations located in Colorado prior to his first account being taken down. When one of our staff came across him through their network analysis, we came across posts that implied that he had prior knowledge of the shootings. We suspect he was privy to this information through his relationship with Cambodi. In fact there’s unconfirmed reporting that Parson was in a photograph with Cambodi that was published in issue 8 of Dabiq Magazine. We hope somebody with some common sense in DHS has already put two and two together – but we’re not holding our breath.

Philadelphia Woman Joins ISIS: How Keonna Thomas’ Alleged Plans To Connect With The Islamic State Group Unraveled
http://www.ibtimes.com/philadelphia-woman-joins-isis-how-keonna-thomas-alleged-plans-connect-islamic-state-1869434

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 3.05.40 PM

Parson’s new Twitter account @Irhabi_IS_187 (Note that he’s also following the UK’s Pied Piper of Jihad Anjem Choudray – which can be seen on the bottom right part of this screen shot)
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Shortly after setting up the new account more threats began to be posted. He’s quite the charmer, isn’t he?
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 10.03.26 AM

The guy on the right is allegedly Parson – we’re still working to confirm/deny
Source: Dabiq Magazine issue 8

Meanwhile in Australia, the Australian security forces continue to drop the hammer on IS cells in the country with another series of raids targeting safe-houses in Melbourne and Sydney. The following individuals were paid a visit by the Australian Federal Police (AFP):

Melbourne:
Muhammad Hasan Kollab – The AFP confiscated material that was being used to produce IEDs.
Yassir Ali Bakhit

Sydney:
Ahmed Hussein (no relation to Junaid Hussein)
Isaac Majoub – This individual has been under investigation since November 14 and is described as a “young kid” between 15-17 yrs of age.

These individuals were planning to conduct attacks the Mother’s Day weekend. We have identified the Sydney Opera House as one of the primary targets for this series of attacks. Although the media reports are saying that its uncertain if this is connected to the failed ANZAC Day pot, we can assure you it is. Furthermore, All four individuals were in direct contact with Cambodi, who – along with close associate Muhammad Junaid Thorne – were overseeing that particular operation. We suspect that Thorne was also involved with the Mother’s Day plot. According to our sources in the country, this operation was within hours of being put into the execution phase. Our Aussie allies have once again demonstrated that they’re not professionally bankrupt like their American counterparts at DHS and ensured the safety of the civilian population. The Australian threat appears to have been blunted, for now. However, a key aspect of this strategy is to overwhelm western security forces to where something “falls through the cracks.” In fact With multiple threat streams spanning across multiple countries we see the scenario we discussed in the first installment of our Target America series on an international scale. The month of MAY is only the start with Syria returnees affiliated with the Anwar al-Awlaki Battalion beginning to redeploy back to their home countries. More will begin returning in JUN, at which time we can expect to see some of these personnel embedding themselves with the local cells comprised of individuals who didn’t go to Syria themselves. Hussein and Cambodi have been the main points of contact for linking these cells up with Syria vets. The Australian government “gets it,” but the US and British governments are still plagued with political correctness. In the case of the US, incompetence is another major factor that got us to the current situation. We assess that DHS will continue their reactionary posture which increases the likelihood of another IS attack. Not bad for the “JV Team,” huh?

Melbourne anti-terrorism raids: Police uncover explosive devices at Greenvale house in city’s north
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-08/victorian-police-uncover-explosives-during-anti-terrorism-raids/6456092

Police conduct anti-terror raid in Melbourne suburb
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-32641549

‘Closest call yet': Police say tip-off sparked Melbourne raids which found alleged improvised explosive devices
http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/05/08/15/11/police-conduct-raids-in-melbourne-s-northern-suburbs

Why There Are No ISIS ‘Lone Wolves’

Lone-Wolf-Terrorists1
PJ Media, By Bridget Johnson, On May 7, 2015:

An ISIS call-to-arms posted online nearly two weeks ago mocked the term that the West uses for the terror group’s members abroad — a big picture of a lone, grey wolf accompanied the text.

“Jihad is going through various stages to reach the state of empowerment and the rule of the land, as it does our brothers in the land of the caliphate,” said the call for jihadists in Egypt to activate.

“Wolves,” the message said, are “one of the first jihad work stages” and simply indicates “individual small cells” who have a greater chance of taking the enemy by surprise or taking down his compatriots. They don’t need “strength or muscle, huge experience in jihad work” and “each wolf chooses what suits him and what fits his goal and location of the implementation of the action.”

“Small firewood is what ignites huge and large flames… wolves will increase their expertise and will move with the time and expertise to the largest operations and to expand and diversify the weapon used.”

A “lone wolf” would be a jihadist taking it upon himself with no direct outside involvement — be it direction or support — to commit an attack. But recent attacks have shown government’s desire to rush to “lone wolf” judgment, be it to placate a nervous public, cover intelligence about wider plots or networks, or just save face for counter-terrorism efforts that let one slip through the cracks.

Government officials use the less alarming terminology that the U.S. suffered an attack from disaffected loners rather than the U.S. suffered an ISIS attack.

“There are a lot of challenges associated with trying to root out and prevent essentially lone wolf attacks,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday. “And again, based on what we know now, and there’s still a lot more that we have to learn, this is consistent with what has previously been described as a — a lone wolf attack, that essentially you have two individuals that don’t appear to be part of a broader conspiracy, and identifying those individuals and keeping tabs on them is difficult work.”

“Lone wolf” also disassociates the assailant from the broader ideological movement, painting the attacker as a disaffected, impressionable individual who is lured to a life of crime by a magazine, video or tweets.

“We continue to be keenly aware and vigilant about the threat that is posed by a so-called lone wolf, where you have an individual who is disaffected and is vulnerable to some of the kind of recruitment efforts that we see ISIL employ through social media,” Earnest said Tuesday.

Not only had Garland, Texas, shooter Elton Simpson been on the FBI’s radar for years after lying about plans to go join jihad in Somalia, but he distributed ISIS propaganda via social media. Simpson announced the Texas attack less than half an hour before shots were fired outside of the Muhammad cartoon contest, and jihadists who quickly tweeted about the attack expressed no surprise. The other shooter, Nadir Soofi, was Simpson’s roommate in Phoenix — so at what point do roommates who plan and conduct attacks graduate from “lone wolves” to a cell?

Both men were in their 30s and born in the United States. They had jobs and attended the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. Soofi left behind a young son.

ISIS included the attack in its daily report of operations distributed to its fighters. “Two soldiers of the Khilafah carried out an assault on a convention in Garland, Texas… We say to the America, the defender of the cross, what’s coming will be even worse.”

ISIS wants to populate the caliphate, no question about it. They’ve put out the call for Muslims to contribute in ways that don’t involve fighting but are necessary for civic infrastructure, from teachers to tech specialists. A recent video about the Islamic State Health Service featured an Australian doctor — a white man with a barely-there beard — treating babies and talking about his decision to come to the Islamic State.

A 50-page handbook released earlier this year detailed tips for jihadists wanting to come to the Islamic State, from what to pack to contacts who would try to smuggle them across the Turkish border. But it acknowledged that things are getting tougher for those who want to immigrate: “Lately things have got harder at the Turkish border, so Islamic State members often meet new people in Turkey hotels and smuggle them across the border,” though the safehouses are “usually males only” and can only be accessed with “a paper signed by an existing member to show he is trustworthy.”

A month ago, an ISIS cyber unit threatened Turkey with hacking attacks if it didn’t stop impeding the flow of foreign fighters into the Islamic State. Turkey has been under intense international pressure to crack down on the flow of goods and people across the 500-mile border.

So while ISIS encourages its followers to make hijrah to the caliphate, it also encourages its followers to be part of the caliphate wherever they may be. This isn’t just because of the physical difficulties of getting to the Islamic State — ISIS regularly distributes “if I did it, so can you” stories from other jihadists who made the trip — but because of ISIS’s overall strategy.

Consider it like crowd-funding for jihadists: encouraging followers to be part of the cause however they can, whatever they can contribute, wherever they can.

They plan on building their “army” not in one centralized location straddling Iraq and Syria, but in grass-roots pockets around the globe to grow and converge upon major targets. The ISIS e-book detailing how the terror group plans to sack Rome describes drawing not just from Muslim communities across Europe but from anti-Israel activists, anarchists and ethnic minority military defections.

These cells won’t need complicated support from an ISIS HQ to plan and coordinate attacks, the book stresses, because of the open-source support for terrorists out there today. “All the Islamic groups use Google Earth today to plan their attacks…. Usually only powerful countries had power to satellite technology, now everyone can use it for free.”

Another e-book this year, The Islamic State, claims self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi does not micromanage his commanders, which gives them “a lot of flexibility and makes the Islamic State harder to defeat” unlike “conventional national armies who have a long chain of command and a common pattern in style of war.”

Their media structure is so diffuse — from “professionally edited videos” and scores of social media accounts (including coordinated hashtags) to e-books and magazines — because “by not having a website, no one can hack it and claim an online victory.”

“Each province has its own responsibility in creating its own videos and social media accounts to share its successes. By decentralising everything from the core leadership, even if a province fails online or offline, the leadership and overall Khilafah (Caliphate) leadership project is still safe and can grow elsewhere.”

The book notes that social media is its own kind of jihad. “What the Islamic State has done for Islam online: Just do a quick search for the word: ‘Islam’ on youtube: What we see is that even though Muslims have been trying to tell people about Islam for the past 20yrs, there have been more searches for ‘Islamic State’ on youtube in the past 3yrs than there have been for ‘Islam’ since youtube has ever existed.”

ISIS has turned skirting around Twitter suspensions into an art form; one jihadist on the social media site announced this week his 32nd comeback under a different Twitter handle, and jihadists whose accounts are still active spread the word about the new account of a booted member.

And if lone wolves are branded so because they haven’t received formal training in terrorist camps, consider that ISIS encourages self-training even for members located in the Middle East. A recent e-book on how the terrorists plan to seize Israel gives Krav Maga tips and suggests using “open-source technology” such as 3-D printers and reverse engineering to mass produce replicas of captured Israeli weapons. Like other ISIS materials, the book stresses that cyber jihadists are valuable recruits who can operate anywhere.

A guide for jihadists in the West issued in late March gives instructions on using secure browsers, watching Bourne films, bomb-making, physical training at home, practicing with Nerf or paintball guns, and moving up to “primitive weapons” such as crossbows. “Playing games like Call of Duty gives you knowledge of techniques used in warfare on different terrains.”

And ISIS jihadists in the West shouldn’t call themselves lone wolves, but an ISIS “special services secret agent.”

They’re encouraged to take advantage of symbolic dates for attacks, to target places like synagogues and gas pipelines, and embrace one- or two-man operations like in France. If they need to flee the West, they’re told to escape to “the Islamic State in Libya, or Khorasan (Waziristan in Pakistan), or in Nigeria (under Boko Haram territory)” if they can’t get to Iraq and Syria.

The ISIS strategy is to have jihadis of varying skills nestled in every corner of the globe, some with no more contact with fellow ISIS fighters than tweets.

In the wake of the Garland attack, a message online claiming to be from a Western member of ISIS noted that their cells abroad conduct another type of training you can’t do in a camp: learning from the successes and mistakes of other cells, soaking in every bit of media coverage. “We have been watching closely who was present at this event and the shooter of our brothers,” the message said, and have “71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire.”

The Watchman Show: World on Fire

jihad 2Terrorism experts Erick Stakelbeck, Patrick Poole and Ryan Mauro to discuss Iran, ISIS, Yemen and Syria–and why it matters for Americans.

Islam and Free Speech: Missing the Point in Garland

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The purpose of the free-speech event was to highlight the threat posed by Islamic supremacists.

National Review, by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY May 4, 2015:

‘Even free-speech enthusiasts are repulsed by obnoxious expression.” That acknowledgment prefaces the main argument I’ve made in Islam and Free Speech, a just-released pamphlet in the Broadside series from Encounter Books. Alas, in view of last night’s deadly events at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, the argument is more timely than I’d hoped.

In Garland, two jihadists opened fire on a free-speech event that was certain to be offensive to many Muslims. The gunmen wounded a security guard before being killed when police returned fire. The jihadists are reported to be roommates who resided in Phoenix. As this is written, only one of them has been identified: Elton Simpson. The wounded security guard, Bruce Joiner, was treated and released. Joiner works for the Garland Independent School District, which owns the Culwell Center.

Simpson was apparently what my friend, terrorism analyst Patrick Poole, describes as a “known wolf.” That’s a radical Muslim whom the Obama administration and the media are wont to dismiss as an anonymous, unconnected loner but who, in fact, has previously drawn the attention of national-security agents over suspected jihadist ties.

Simpson previously attempted to travel to Africa, apparently to join al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda franchise. He was reportedly convicted of lying to FBI agents, though a judge found the evidence insufficient to prove he was trying to join the terror group. The al-Shabaab connection seems salient now: Police are investigating tweets about the Garland event prior to the violence, allegedly posted by a young al-Shabaab jihadist who is said to be an American citizen.

The Garland free-speech event was a contest, sponsored by Pamela Geller’s New York–based American Freedom Defense Initiative. Participants were invited to draw cartoons of Islam’s prophet, in homage to the Charlie Hebdo artists killed by jihadists in France. Besides Ms. Geller, the featured speaker at the event was Geert Wilders, the Dutch parliamentarian whose life has been threatened for years for speaking openly about the scriptural moorings of Islamic terrorism. Al-Qaeda has publicly called for Wilders to be killed, and a notorious Australian imam called on Muslims to behead him because anyone who “mocks, laughs [at], or degrades Islam” must be killed by “chopping off his head.”

In Garland, activists opposed to the violence endorsed by Islamic doctrine and to the repression inherent in sharia law were invited to draw caricatures of Mohammed, with a $10,000 prize awarded to the “best” one. The contest was sure to yield images offensive to Muslims just as transgressive artist Andres Serrano had to know the public exhibition of his Piss Christ photograph would offend Christians.

Yet, as I argue in Islam and Free Speech, it will not do to blame the messenger for the violence. The shooting last night was not caused by the free-speech event any more than the Charlie Hebdo murders were caused by derogatory caricatures, or the rioting after a Danish newspaper’s publication of anti-Islam cartoons was caused by the newspaper. The violence is caused by Islamic supremacist ideology and its law that incites Muslims to kill those they judge to have disparaged Islam.

It will not do to blame the messenger for the violence. The shooting last night was not caused by the free-speech event any more than the Charlie Hebdo murders were caused by derogatory caricatures.

Christians were offended by Piss Christ, but they did not respond by killing the “artist” or blowing up the exhibiting museum. If any had, they would have been universally condemned for both violating society’s laws and betraying Christian tenets. In such a case, we would have blamed the killers, not the provocative art. There can be no right against being provoked in a free society; we rely on the vigorous exchange of ideas to arrive at sensible policy. And the greater the threat to liberty, the more necessary it is to provoke. 

The threat to liberty in this instance is sharia blasphemy law. A bloc of Muslim-majority countries, with the assistance of the Obama administration (led by the U.S. State Department, particularly under Hillary Clinton), is trying to use international law to impose Islam’s repressive law to make it illegal to subject Islam to negative criticism. No sensible person favors obnoxious expression or gratuitous insult. But as I contend in the pamphlet, there is a big difference between saying “I object to this illustration of insensitivity and bad taste” and saying “I believe that what repulses me should be against the law.”

Ms. Geller’s detractors are predictably out in droves today, prattling about how the violence would not have happened were it not for the offensive display. No one would feel deprived by the lack of sheer insult, they say, so wouldn’t it be better to compromise free-expression principles in exchange for achieving peaceful social harmony? But that line of thinking puts violent extortionists in charge of what we get to speak about — an arrangement no free society can tolerate.

It is very unfortunate that this debate is so often triggered by forms of expression that non-jihadists will find insulting and therefore that even anti-jihadists will find uncomfortable to defend. This grossly understates the stakes involved. This is about much more than cartoons. As I outline in Islam and Free Speech, classical sharia forbids most artistic representations of animate life, not just expressions that are obviously sacrilegious. More significantly, it deems as blasphemous not just expressions that insult the prophet and Islam itself but also

critical examinations of Islam . . . especially if they reach negative conclusions or encourage unbelief[;] proselytism of religions other than Islam, particularly if it involves encouraging Muslims to abandon Islam[; and any] speech or expression [that] could sow discord among Muslims or within an Islamic community. And truth is not a defense.

It is not the purpose of Pam Geller, Geert Wilders, the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, and other activists to insult Muslims. Their mission is to awaken us to the challenge of Islamic supremacists — not just the violent jihadists but also the powerful Islamist forces behind the jihad. Islamists are attempting to coerce us into abandoning our commitment to free expression. They are pressuring us to accommodate their totalitarian system rather than accepting assimilation into our liberty culture.

You may not like the provocateurs’ methods. Personally, I am not a fan of gratuitous insult, which can antagonize pro-Western Muslims we want on our side. But let’s not make too much of that. Muslims who really are pro-Western already know, as Americans overwhelmingly know, that being offended is a small price to pay to live in a free society. We can bristle at an offense and still grasp that we do not want the offense criminalized.

It would be easy, in our preening gentility, to look down our noses at a Mohammed cartoon contest. But we’d better understand the scope of the threat the contest was meant to raise our attention to — a threat triggered by ideology, not cartoons. There is in our midst an Islamist movement that wants to suppress not only insults to Islam but all critical examination of Islam. That movement is delighted to leverage the atmosphere of intimidation created by violent jihadists, and it counts the current United States government among its allies.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.